AMERICAN SCENE: A Nice, Friendly Place to Visit

"Where do you live?"

"Palm Beach."

"Yes, but where do you live?"

"Palm Beach."

"I mean, where do you live in real life?"

—Two Palm Beach women, 1973

The unreal life of the croquet tournament and the formal ball goes on today just as though nothing much had changed, except for the invention of air conditioning, since Henry Flagler first laid a railroad span across Lake Worth in 1894 and opened up an idyllic new playground to his friends. From what is probably the world's richest island, now at the height of the two-month ritual...

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